Where to invest in Japan's local regions

Sendai city

PR video:city of sendai (4:42)

Sendai city center

illustration of Super Lightsource for Industrial Technology (PhoSIC)

Sendai, a world-leading R&D city

Regional News


Industry Promotion Section Industry Policy Dept

3-7-1 Kokubun-cho, Aoba-ku, Sendai-city, Miyagi Prefecture, 980-0803


Basic information

Population *1

1080 thousand

Labor force *1

504 thousand

Nominal GDP*2


Number of Establishments*3

51,584 establishments

JETRO office
  1. *1

    Population Census 2015, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

  2. *2

    Prefectural Citizens'Economic Accounts 2018, Cabinet Office

  3. *3

    "2016 Economic Sensus", Statstics Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

Basic information updated on:Jan. 2022

Business Environment

Sendai City, also known as the "academic city," has over 100 higher education institutions and some 80,000 students in its urban area, forming one of the nation's leading human resource development bases for industries. Many companies have decided to settle down here to secure excellent personnel.
With the open innovation strategy of the world-leading Tohoku University and the launch of next-generation synchrotron radiation facility, R&D facilities have agglomerated, boding well for the formation of research complexes. Many companies are also interested in getting office space under the Sendai City Earthquake Disaster Reconstruction Plan, as well as for risk diversification during natural disasters or infectious diseases, and for business continuity planning.
Examples of existing foreign companies include Amazon Japan G.K, Ericsson Japan Co., Ltd., and Philips Japan Co., Ltd.


Sendai City subsidy for promoting the establishment of businesses


Refund equivalent to the amount of fixed assets tax relating to new investment over 3 to 5 years. It is also applicable to the rent of land and or buildings and equipment lease. Other programs provide additional assistance according to the number of employees and refurbishment of facilities.
New construction, expansion, and relocation in the city (also applicable to rent and lease)
100% of the equivalent value to the fixed assets tax involving new investment for 3 to 5 years
Employment premium
100,000 yen to 1 million yen per new employee, relocated permanent employee and other employees for one year
*Subsidy amount, period, and maximum amount of subsidy depend on subsidy programs.

Special Zones for Reconstruction ( Special Zone for Promoting Private-sector Investment, Special Zone for Promoting the Agricultural and Food Frontier)

Special zones

Target: Businesses in designated fields conducted within Sendai city industrial cluster zones for reconstruction by corporations or individuals contributing to job creation.
Types of Preferential Tax Measures:

Special depreciation and tax credit for acquired business assets
Special deduction of the corporate tax relating to the employment of disaster victims
Special depreciation and tax credit for assets acquired for research and development
Inclusion of amount of reinvestment reserve fund for newly established corporations as deductible expenses
Local tax exemptions (corporate business tax, real estate acquisition tax, and fixed assets tax)
*Some of these special measures cannot be applied concurrently.

National Strategic Special Zones (Special Addition for Advanced Human Resources Point System)

Special zones

Companies receiving the above-mentioned "Sendai City subsidy for promoting the establishment of businesses" for (1)headquarter functions or R&D facility,
or (2) software or digital content industry are eligible.

Sendai city adds extra 10 points under the "point-based system*1 for granting highly-skilled foreign professionals" preferential immigration status*2 for foreign persons working at these companies.

*1 Provides preferential immigration treatment to promote the acceptance of highly-skilled foreign professionals.
Activities of highly-skilled foreign professionals: "advanced academic research activities," "advanced specialized and technical activities," and "advanced business management activities."
*2 Permission for multiple activities as residents, relaxation of requirements for granting permanent resident status, working of spouses, etc.

Startup Visa

Startup Visa Available

Industrial cluster information

R&D center

Tohoku University, which has a campus in the city, has worked on various industry-academia collaborations to date. It has been promoting open innovation in fields such as "spintronics," "life sciences," and "material sciences" as a designated national university and has already started co-creation with many companies.
The next-generation synchrotron radiation facility will begin operation in 2023 at the Aobayama New Campus of Tohoku University. The formation of a research complex is expected through the accumulation of cutting-edge R&D bases.

Local companies

Will Semiconductor Japan LLC., Philips Japan, Ltd., Mitsuba Corp.

Educational/research institutes of the industry

Head Office of Enterprise Partnerships, Tohoku University, Tohoku University Hospital, Tohoku University Center for Innovative Integrated Electronic Systems, Material Innovation Center, Tohoku University International Center for Synchrotron Radiation Innovation Smart, Intelligent Information System research center


Photon Science Innovation Center

Semiconductor and electronic devices

Sendai City is home to many high-level educational institutions, including Tohoku University, which boasts one of the world's leading research achievements. It attracts young and outstanding human resources from the entire Tohoku region. Consequently, the percentage of young population, age from 20 to 39 is one of the highest proportions among the cities in Japan . Many software and digital content companies, both domestic and foreign, have established operations attracted by universities and others' intellectual resources, and the abundance of capable personnel, forming industry clusters.

Local companies

Ericsson Japan K.K., IBM Japan, Ltd.V-cube, Inc., RYOMO SYSTEMS CO.,LTD., Rakuten, Inc.

Educational/research institutes of the industry

Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, Graduate School of Information Sciences, Tohoku University, Research Institute of Electrical Communication, Tohoku University, Faculty of Life Design, Tohoku Institute of Technology


Miyagi Information Service Industry Association, GLOBAL Lab SENDAI

Disaster prevention industry, Healthcare industries

Disaster relieve and prevention industry
Sendai city has been promoting open innovation by major domestic corporations, local companies, foreign companies, etc., by BOSAI TECH (disaster relief and prevention x ICT) program under the "Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030" adopted by UN member countries.
JETRO's Regional Business Conference has selected this initiative for two consecutive years since 2019.
BOSAI TECH has been promoting business matching between domestic and foreign companies in the disaster relief and prevention field, attracting foreign companies, and developing the world's most advanced disaster relief and prevention technology innovation ecosystem.
Healthcare industry
Philips Japan Co., Ltd. established the "Co-Creation Center," its first Japanese R&D base in Sendai City. The company and others have been working on "promoting the healthtech industry" and "fostering healthtech human resources" aimed at solving problems in hospitals and the healthcare field with "healthcare x ICT" as a slogan, resulting in the agglomeration of the industry.

Local companies


Educational/research institutes of the industry

Tohoku University Hospital, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, Tohoku University, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University, International Research Institute of Disaster Science, Tohoku University, Kansei Fukushi Research Institute, Tohoku Fukushi University


Miyagi Information Service Industry Association, Machine Intelligence TOhOku Society


Living environment

Sendai boasts excellent international and domestic access thanks to well-established transportation infrastructure with a port, an airport, and expressways. It is a very livable city with a moderate climate for people moving from overseas. You can conduct business and pleasure very efficiently. It has a swimming beach, skiing resorts, golf courses, hot springs located nearby, and an excellent educational environment such as Tohoku International School. It is also a vibrant city that flourishes as the home of professional sports teams and hosts various events throughout the year. The Sendai Tourism, Convention and International Association website provides lists of medical institutions and posts useful information in English on visa procedures, transport, education, and day-to-day living in Sendai.

Logistics and infrastructures

With its excellent access from Sendai Station (17 min on the fastest JR train), Sendai Airport is a Tohoku region's gateway connecting Sendai and major domestic and international cities.
It takes 90 minutes from Sendai to Tokyo on the fastest Tohoku Shinkansen train, making it possible to save time and secure plenty of time for business.
Furthermore, with the Tohoku Jukan Expressway running through the city, Japan's first ring network of roads for motor vehicles among large cities (over 1 million population), and Shiogama Port, an international hub port, Sendai is a region with developed distribution infrastructure.

Air: Sendai Airport is 17 minutes by fastest train from Sendai Station, 35 minutes by car
Land: 90 minutes to Tokyo from Sendai by the fastest Tohoku Shinkansen

Map of Sendai city


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